Tennessee dog crowned 'oldest golden retriever in history'

August celebrating her 20th birthday.
August celebrating her 20th birthday. Photo credit: Facebook/GoldHeart Golden Retriever Rescue

A dog in the United States is believed to be the oldest golden retriever in history.

August turned 20 on April 24, and has lived with her owners Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt in Oakland, Tennessee for six years.

According to GoldHeart Golden Retriever Rescue, there have been accounts of 17 and 18-year-old golden retrievers, but it claims Augie - the name she's affectionately known by - is the first to reach 20 and is the "oldest golden retriever in history". It added most golden retrievers only live to about 10 to 12 years old.

She celebrated her birthday with a dog-friendly carrot cake and by spending time with her golden retriever siblings Sherman, Belle and Bruce.

Her owner Jennifer says she's a surprisingly healthy dog. Despite being diagnosed with kidney issues at 14, she can still move around well and enjoys daily walks. She also gets subcutaneous (SQ) fluids twice a week and takes supplements for her kidneys and joints.

Augie was born in 2000 and was rehomed twice before being adopted by the Hetterscheidts.

Jennifer and Steve were active in their local golden retriever rescue organisation when they adopted her.

The couple has several other dogs and cats, and has taken her on caravan trips around the US.

"She's lived so long largely because she's got great genetics, but also her owner, Jennifer, has done a great job of taking care of her and ensuring that they have a good relationship with Augie's vet," the rescue wrote on its website.

Jennifer added they care for their dogs as long as they have them, and they "love them forever".

August and her golden retriever siblings on her birthday.
August and her golden retriever siblings on her birthday. Photo credit: Facebook/GoldHeart Golden Retriever Rescue

The oldest dog ever was an Australian sheep dog named Maggie who lived until she was 30 years old, an article from local Australian outlet The Weekly Times claims.

Her owner Brian McLaren, from Woolsthorpe, Victoria, told the newspaper in 2016 she "just went downhill" in a matter of two days.

"She was 30 years old, she was still going along nicely last week, she was walking from the dairy to the office and growling at the cats and all that sort of thing."

Prior to that, Guinness World Records named cattle dog Bluey as the oldest ever dog. Bluey lived to be 29 years old and died in 1939.